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The History of Washington D.C.'s Sidewalk Cafes

Washington D.C.'s first sidewalk cafe opened 5-plus years ago. This piece from The Washington Post looks at the history of outdoor eating in the city, and how the trend has picked up over the years.

There are now more than 450 sidewalk cafes in the city.

"City officials raised myriad objections, as described in a Washington Post story at the time: Sidewalk cafes expose food to "windblown foreign matter," creating a health hazard and attracting birds and rodents, the city's public health director said; too many cafes would cause a "cessation" of pedestrian traffic, forcing walkers into the streets, where they would get run over, another official cautioned; and tables and chairs would interfere with the deployment of fire hoses, the fire chief warned.

But the strongest objection came from Deputy Police Chief Howard V. Covell, who described sidewalk cafes as 'a potential source of disorder.'"

Full Story: D.C. feeds the alfresco frenzy

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